Home » Uncategorized » Scenes from a Roman Taverna: Looting

Scenes from a Roman Taverna: Looting

Castor was beginning to think that he had badly miscalculated.
As he dodged the packs of rampaging Iceni with his two increasingly nervous guards he reminded himself sternly to keep calm. He really had been in worse situations than this and as long as he kept his head it would turn out as he planned.
But the Iceni were moving faster through the city than even he had expected, and the sight of the house of Miletus already in flames brought a curse to his lips that made even the soldiers accompanying him start in shock.
‘Should we just go, sir,’ one of them said,’ If we make straight for the North gate – the defenders seemed to be doing better there…’
Castor thought about this. The plan, if flight was now the only option, was a reasonable one. The North Gate was currently still held or had been, by the Roman army. The Centurion in charge seemed to be the only one with any sense of tactics.
Castor idly noted that he should recommend the man for a commendation, albeit most likely a posthumous one.
‘No. Not yet,’ Castor said,’ you two stay here and keep an eye out. I’m going in for what I came here to find.’
The soldiers looked at him and said nothing. Castor laughed. They thought he was mad.
‘Look boys, if I’m not out in ten minutes, just go.’
The look of relief in their eyes was pitiful. Castor had serious doubts about the Empire. Between the widespread corruption on one side and spineless weevils like these men on the other, collapse was surely certain.
Maybe it was time to make other arrangements for his future prosperity…
Castor crept into the burning building complex, holding a cloth across his mouth to reduce the amount of smoke he was breathing in, although he still found himself coughing and spluttering. He made it through to the atrium and saw with some relief that the cubiculum was not yet fully alight. From the girl’s evidence this is where he would find his treasure.
As he entered the smoke filled room he stumbled over the body of Miletus.
Grimly Castor kicked over the body. He had to smile at the look of sheer surprise fixed on the man’s face.
‘Plans came to nothing, eh?’ Castor smirked at the corpse.
He looked around. There was no sign of the girl, alive or dead. Then a thought struck him and he looked down at the body again.
Yes. Miletus had been killed with a single, clinical strike to the heart. Most of those killed by the Iceni had been literally hacked to pieces.
‘Interesting… So someone got you first,’ Castor muttered. He considered Vita, but for some reason it did not fit. The girl was bold enough but this blow had required strength. That he was less sure she possessed.
Castor shrugged. The man was dead and had probably been a traitor anyway.
The Iceni had been in the room however, sometime after his death. The chest Vita had described had been overturned, the contents thrown around the room as the tribesman had looted anything valuable.
Castor had a different view of value, and quickly began to pick up the documents that were strewn all around, glancing at the contents as he did so with increasing excitement. He had been right!
There was a groaning noise followed by a crash as part of the house collapsed. Castor was brought to his senses. It was time to get out. He turned to go, but was suddenly distracted by another document, written and sealed differently from the rest. Castor picked it up and ran from the building.
He was not surprised to find the two guards had already gone. Just as well. They would have been a liability. Castor had no intention of fighting his way out. What he needed was a dead Iceni around his own stature. Subterfuge was always preferable to direct conflict.
Once he had sneaked through the Iceni lines he would have plenty of time to look at his haul. That final document intrigued him. Something instinctively told him that it was the key to making sense of at least some of this mess.

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